I was the perfect parent. Seriously, I was stellar. I knew exactly what to do in every single situation life could possibly throw at me. And then I actually had a child.
Almost a year and a half later I find myself doing the things I promised my pre-parent self I would NEVER do. For example, an item from a fast-food restaurant was NEVER going to cross the likes of my child's mouth. Guess what my kid had last night for dinner, yep, chicken nuggets and fries from Wendy's. I also was never going to let me child be disruptive in a store. Seriously, do you not have control of your child? What's the problem people? It can't be that hard to outwit a kid. Think again. Just this week my son threw himself down on the floor at a UPS store because I wouldn't let him have my car keys. My pre-parent self would have judged the heck out of me as I fumbled my way out the door with a screaming toddler in my arms.
Here's the thing. Being a parent is really, really hard. I have had absolutely no training when it comes to parenting. I was the youngest. My sister and brother were very much older than me, so I was raised almost as a single child. I have a degree in English and Journalism, no Childhood Education classes ever came close to touching my curriculum. So when my kid throws himself on the floor out in public, I am clueless. I'm sure I'll figure it out. Same goes with figuring out a way to coax some vegetables into my son. We have these goals in mind of what we want our life to be. Keep in mind this is life. It's going to throw curve balls at you faster than a professional pitcher starting for the Red Sox. As much as it's exhausting, it's also exhilarating trying to figure it all out.
Merry is originally from Birmingham, Alabama. She is currently an adjunct professor at Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire and Editor/Reporter at the InterTown Record.